American Negro Poetry



American Negro Poetry

This edition

"American Negro Poetry" . Ed. Arna Bontemps. New York: Hill & Wang, 1963. 197 pp.

Other editions, reprints, and translations

• "American Negro Poetry". Ed. Arna Bontemps. Rev. ed. New York: Hill and Wang, 1974. xx+231 pp.; repr. New York: Noonday, 1988. xx+232 pp.
• Repr. New York: Hill and Wang, 1995. xx+231 pp.

Table of contents

Contents (1963 ed.):
James Weldon Johnson -- Paul Laurence Dunbar -- William Stanley Braithwaite -- Angeline W. Grimke -- Anne Spencer -- Effie Lee Newsome -- Georgia Douglas Johnson -- Fenton Johnson -- Claude McKay -- Jean Tooner -- Melvin B. Tolson -- Frank Horne -- Marcus B. Christian -- Sterling A. Brown -- Clarissa Scott Delany -- Langston Hughes -- Gwendolyn B. Bennett -- Arna Bontemps -- Countee Cullen -- Donald Jeffrey Hayes -- Jonathan Brooks -- Frank Marshall Davis -- Waring Cuney -- Helene Johnson -- Richard Wright -- Charles Enoch Wheeler -- Pauli Murray -- Robert Hayden -- Dudley Randall -- Owen Dodson -- Leslie M. Collins -- Margaret Walker -- Frank Yerby Samuel Allen -- Catherine Cater -- Gwendolyn Brooks -- Bruce McM. Wright -- Alfred A. Duckett -- Myron O'Higgins -- M. Carl Holman -- Yvonne Gregory -- Margaret Danner -- G.C. Oden -- Mari E. Evans -- Oliver Pitcher -- James P. Vaughn -- Russell Atkins -- Ted Joans -- William Browne -- James A. Emanuel -- Conrad Kent Rivers -- LeRoi Jones -- Clarence Major -- Julia Fields -- Horace Julian Bond -- Carl Wendell Hines, Jr.

About the anthology

• "This collection of 171 poems by fifty-five poets spanning 75 years was selected by the American Library Association as one of the thirty Significant Adult Books for Young People in 1963." [from ad copy in "English Journal" 57.7 (1968): 1082. "JSTOR".]
• "This collection of 171 poems by fifty-five poets has sold over 100,000 copies! $4.95; Paper $1.55" (ad copy in "College English" 59.7 [Oct. 1970]: 915. "JSTOR")

Reviews and notices of anthology

• n/a

Commentary on anthology

• "Anthology of fifty-six black American poets, from James Weldon Johnson and Paul Laurence Dunbar to Ted Joans, LeRoi Jones, and Carl Wendall Holmes, Jr. The brief bio-bibliographical sketches (pp. 187-194) list some additional works (collections and periodicals where some of their individual poems have appeared) of some of the poets" (Rowell 1972: 55).
• "A highly selective, yet totally representative collection of modern American black poetry and poets. the editor-poet collaborated with Langston Hughes in a similar work, "The Poetry of the Negro", that goes back to the eighteenth century for inspiration. Drawing from the Harlem Renaissance of the Twenties for more than half of the anthology, Bontemps then turned to some lesser-known voices of the 1940's and 1950's. Among the poets are Paul Laurence Dunbar, Hughes, and Arna Bontemps himself. Later come Gwendolyn Brooks, then LeRoi Jones, and Julia Fields. Most of the poetry reflects the racial struggles of the black people and the longing and need for freedom, respect, and economic advancement. Two unexpected prose writers are Richard Wright and Frank Yerby, both respectable poets, although Yerby appears con//siderably less sure of himself than most of the other poets in the anthology" ("The Columbia Granger's Guide to Poetry Anthologies". Ed. William Katz, Linda Sternberg Katz, and Esther Crain. 2nd enlarged ed. New York: Columbia UP, 1994. 4-5)

Cited in

• Kallenbach 1979 (1963 and 1974 editions)
• [original ed.: Kinnamon 1997: 470]
• Indexed in "The Columbia Granger's Index to African-American Poetry" (1999)

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